Chad Morris leaves SMU, becomes Arkansas head coach

Casey Dawson
December 7, 2017

SMU head coach Chad Morris has left SMU to accept a the head coaching job at Arkansas, according to a report from ESPN's Chris Low. A deal could be worked out as soon as Wednesday.

Morris served three years as offensive coordinator at Clemson, where he emerged as one of the brightest offensive minds in the nation.

Morris leaves the Mustangs after compiling a 14-22 record in three seasons.

Morris has turned around the SMU football program in his three years there, taking the Mustangs to their first bowl game since 2012 this year.

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He is also getting consideration for the Tennessee head coaching vacancy. Bielema was sacked November 24 after a 4-8 season in which the Razorbacks went 1-7 in conference play. Arkansas hired Yurachek as its new athletic director on Monday. Entering bowl play, SMU is No. 13 nationally in total offense, averaging 494.5 yards per game, and No. 8 in scoring offense, putting up 40.2 points per game.

Former Jenks special teams and recruiting coordinator Carl Johnson, who now holds the same positions at River Bluff high school in Lexington, South Carolina, is high on Morris.

Morris inherited a major rebuild at SMU, which went 1-11 the year before he arrived. He broke into the college ranks as an assistant coach at Tulsa in 2010 after a decorated high school coaching career in Texas that included back-to-back undefeated state championship seasons at Lake Travis in 2008 and 2009, as well as a championship at Bay City in 2000. "That's who I am", said Morris, a Dallas native, when he was hired at SMU in 2014. Bielema had been the head coach for the Badgers since 2006.

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